Increased thyroid cancer incidence in a basaltic volcanic area is associated with non-anthropogenic pollution and biocontamination

Pasqualino Malandrino, Marco Russo, Anna Ronchi, Claudio Minoia, Daniela Cataldo, Concetto Regalbuto, Carla Giordano, Marco Attard, Sebastiano Squatrito, Francesco Trimarchi, Riccardo Vigneri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The increased thyroid cancer incidence in volcanic areas suggests an environmental effect of volcanic-originated carcinogens. To address this problem, we evaluated environmental pollution and biocontamination in a volcanic area of Sicily with increased thyroid cancer incidence. Thyroid cancer epidemiology was obtained from the Sicilian Regional Registry for Thyroid Cancer. Twenty-seven trace elements were measured by quadrupole mass spectrometry in the drinking water and lichens (to characterize environmental pollution) and in the urine of residents (to identify biocontamination) in the Mt. Etna volcanic area and in adjacent control areas. Thyroid cancer incidence was 18.5 and 9.6/105 inhabitants in the volcanic and the control areas, respectively. The increase was exclusively due to the papillary histotype. Compared with control areas, in the volcanic area many trace elements were increased in both drinking water and lichens, indicating both water and atmospheric pollution. Differences were greater for water. Additionally, in the urine of the residents of the volcanic area, the average levels of many trace elements were significantly increased, with values higher two-fold or more than in residents of the control area: cadmium (×2.1), mercury (×2.6), manganese (×3.0), palladium (×9.0), thallium (×2.0), uranium (×2.0), vanadium (×8.0), and tungsten (×2.4). Urine concentrations were significantly correlated with values in water but not in lichens. Our findings reveal a complex non-anthropogenic biocontamination with many trace elements in residents of an active volcanic area where thyroid cancer incidence is increased. The possible carcinogenic effect of these chemicals on the thyroid and other tissues cannot be excluded and should be investigated.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEndocrine
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Fingerprint

Thyroid Neoplasms
Trace Elements
Lichens
Incidence
Environmental Pollution
Urine
Drinking Water
Sicily
Water Pollution
Vanadium
Tungsten
Uranium
Water
Thallium
Palladium
Manganese
Mercury
Cadmium
Carcinogens
Registries

Keywords

  • Epidemiology
  • Heavy metals
  • Thyroid cancer
  • Trace elements
  • Volcanic area

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

Cite this

Increased thyroid cancer incidence in a basaltic volcanic area is associated with non-anthropogenic pollution and biocontamination. / Malandrino, Pasqualino; Russo, Marco; Ronchi, Anna; Minoia, Claudio; Cataldo, Daniela; Regalbuto, Concetto; Giordano, Carla; Attard, Marco; Squatrito, Sebastiano; Trimarchi, Francesco; Vigneri, Riccardo.

In: Endocrine, 2016.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Malandrino, P, Russo, M, Ronchi, A, Minoia, C, Cataldo, D, Regalbuto, C, Giordano, C, Attard, M, Squatrito, S, Trimarchi, F & Vigneri, R 2016, 'Increased thyroid cancer incidence in a basaltic volcanic area is associated with non-anthropogenic pollution and biocontamination', Endocrine. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12020-015-0761-0
Malandrino, Pasqualino ; Russo, Marco ; Ronchi, Anna ; Minoia, Claudio ; Cataldo, Daniela ; Regalbuto, Concetto ; Giordano, Carla ; Attard, Marco ; Squatrito, Sebastiano ; Trimarchi, Francesco ; Vigneri, Riccardo. / Increased thyroid cancer incidence in a basaltic volcanic area is associated with non-anthropogenic pollution and biocontamination. In: Endocrine. 2016.
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AU - Malandrino, Pasqualino

AU - Russo, Marco

AU - Ronchi, Anna

AU - Minoia, Claudio

AU - Cataldo, Daniela

AU - Regalbuto, Concetto

AU - Giordano, Carla

AU - Attard, Marco

AU - Squatrito, Sebastiano

AU - Trimarchi, Francesco

AU - Vigneri, Riccardo

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N2 - The increased thyroid cancer incidence in volcanic areas suggests an environmental effect of volcanic-originated carcinogens. To address this problem, we evaluated environmental pollution and biocontamination in a volcanic area of Sicily with increased thyroid cancer incidence. Thyroid cancer epidemiology was obtained from the Sicilian Regional Registry for Thyroid Cancer. Twenty-seven trace elements were measured by quadrupole mass spectrometry in the drinking water and lichens (to characterize environmental pollution) and in the urine of residents (to identify biocontamination) in the Mt. Etna volcanic area and in adjacent control areas. Thyroid cancer incidence was 18.5 and 9.6/105 inhabitants in the volcanic and the control areas, respectively. The increase was exclusively due to the papillary histotype. Compared with control areas, in the volcanic area many trace elements were increased in both drinking water and lichens, indicating both water and atmospheric pollution. Differences were greater for water. Additionally, in the urine of the residents of the volcanic area, the average levels of many trace elements were significantly increased, with values higher two-fold or more than in residents of the control area: cadmium (×2.1), mercury (×2.6), manganese (×3.0), palladium (×9.0), thallium (×2.0), uranium (×2.0), vanadium (×8.0), and tungsten (×2.4). Urine concentrations were significantly correlated with values in water but not in lichens. Our findings reveal a complex non-anthropogenic biocontamination with many trace elements in residents of an active volcanic area where thyroid cancer incidence is increased. The possible carcinogenic effect of these chemicals on the thyroid and other tissues cannot be excluded and should be investigated.

AB - The increased thyroid cancer incidence in volcanic areas suggests an environmental effect of volcanic-originated carcinogens. To address this problem, we evaluated environmental pollution and biocontamination in a volcanic area of Sicily with increased thyroid cancer incidence. Thyroid cancer epidemiology was obtained from the Sicilian Regional Registry for Thyroid Cancer. Twenty-seven trace elements were measured by quadrupole mass spectrometry in the drinking water and lichens (to characterize environmental pollution) and in the urine of residents (to identify biocontamination) in the Mt. Etna volcanic area and in adjacent control areas. Thyroid cancer incidence was 18.5 and 9.6/105 inhabitants in the volcanic and the control areas, respectively. The increase was exclusively due to the papillary histotype. Compared with control areas, in the volcanic area many trace elements were increased in both drinking water and lichens, indicating both water and atmospheric pollution. Differences were greater for water. Additionally, in the urine of the residents of the volcanic area, the average levels of many trace elements were significantly increased, with values higher two-fold or more than in residents of the control area: cadmium (×2.1), mercury (×2.6), manganese (×3.0), palladium (×9.0), thallium (×2.0), uranium (×2.0), vanadium (×8.0), and tungsten (×2.4). Urine concentrations were significantly correlated with values in water but not in lichens. Our findings reveal a complex non-anthropogenic biocontamination with many trace elements in residents of an active volcanic area where thyroid cancer incidence is increased. The possible carcinogenic effect of these chemicals on the thyroid and other tissues cannot be excluded and should be investigated.

KW - Epidemiology

KW - Heavy metals

KW - Thyroid cancer

KW - Trace elements

KW - Volcanic area

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